As they say in Les Miserables: Who am I?

Who am I, you ask? Well, to make a long story short, my name is Katie Joachim and I am a rising senior at Hope College, studying Theatre and Creative Writing. Some of you may have seen me as the Baker’s Wife in Hope’s production of Into the Woods last fall. Currently, I am an acting intern and teacher at the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. On September 2nd, I will be flying across the pond to London, England to study theatre through IES Abroad. Not only am I studying in London, but I am prepared to take the rest of Europe by storm. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (as my mother likes to tell me) and I just can’t wait!

Now, with all the pleasantries aside, let’s get real. I. AM. FREAKING. OUT. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but what else can you expect from a theatre major whose first experience out of the USA was in May 2019? My plane ticket may be booked, but I still have so many questions. What is the city going to be like? Will I make friends? Will I be able to manage class and my travel plans? If I meet the Queen, will my unpolished curtsy be enough to keep me from the stocks?

Okay, I may not be meeting the Queen, but I am genuinely nervous about all of the little details. It almost feels like I’m starting college all over again. I remember feeling afraid that I wouldn’t find my place at Hope. The car ride from my hometown felt like the longest three hours of my life. I mean, my parents were going to drop me off with a bunch of strangers and then leave! As you might have guessed by my senior status, it all ended up working out just fine. I found my friends, decided on my majors, and the cheesy slogan they kept rattling off during orientation came true: Hope is home.

While leaving my home for lands unknown is nerve wracking, I’m sure it will all work out in the end. I mean, studying abroad must be good if more than half of each graduating class goes before they graduate from Hope. I’m sure by September 2nd I’ll have all these uncertainties about my charger ironed out, but as far as when I actually step foot on English soil? For now, let’s just say I’ll figure it out when I get there and just keep practicing my curtsies.

Published by Kathryn Joachim

Class of 2020 IES Abroad London, United Kingdom Theatre, Creative Writing

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